Corregidoraby Gayl Jones
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Here is Gayl Jones's classic novel, the tale of blues singer Ursa, consumed by her hatred of the nineteenth-century slave master who fathered both her grandmother and mother.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
- Beacon Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 622 KB
Meet the Author
Gayl Jones was born in Kentucky in 1949. She attended Connecticut College and Brown University; she has taught at Wellesley and the University of Michigan. Her books include Corregidora, Eva's Man, White Rat, Song for Anninho, and Liberating Voices: Oral Tradition in African American Literature.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I first read Corregidora as an assignment for my creative writing course in college. Usually with a gripe for such readings, it was immediately apparent why the professor had chosen this book. Corregidora is an essential look into America's past: the people, the places, and the dark events that shaped a culture. Ursa is a prime example of the hardships faced by women during that time and still do in some parts of the world. This story stands to remind us, well into the future, of the struggles people face even today.
From the time that Ursa Corregidora is able to listen, she is told by her great-grandmother that she must retain ¿the evidence¿ in order to pass it on to her children. Initially, one would think this is a harmless request. However, ¿the evidence¿ is an oral history of how her great-grandmother was raped and then used as a whore by her white slave owner, Corregidora, as was her daughter (Ursa¿s grandmother) after her. Corregidora then impregnates Ursa¿s grandmother (his biological daughter) to produce Ursa¿s mother. Not only is this a disturbing history for a child to commit to memory, but her great-grandmother¿s resentment and distrust of men were also passed onto a young Ursa. Although Ursa had a black father, she resembles the Portuguese Corregidora. Her light skin and fine hair causes her to be ostracized by black women and desired by black men. She expresses her lifelong frustrations in the form of song and has moderate success as a blues singer in the small local club circuit. Ursa finds herself suffering emotionally, verbally, and physically at the whim of her husband, Mutt, who begins to exhibit the same jealousy, possessiveness, and envy that her great-grandmother shared regarding her relationship with Corregidora. Through flashbacks and internal memories, we understand Ursa¿s mental anguish when trying to discern between the painful slave legacy and her present day household situation. True to the mindset of the time, a woman¿s childbearing ability is looked upon as her only source of power and we see Ursa¿s torment further exacerbated when her ability to pass ¿the evidence¿ to her children is jeopardized. This book addresses racism, slavery, and sexism on several different levels. Be warned-- it grips the reader from the beginning and goes deep in a very ¿Alice Walker-ish¿ kind of way. I experienced difficulty following the dialogue at times but I hung in there and relied on inference to follow the author¿s insinuations; and despite this one `snag¿, I was not disappointed with Ms. Jones¿s first novel. This is a short but complex read; it is not for everyone, however I found it was a worthwhile literary departure from the ¿norm.¿ Reviewed by Phyllis APOOO BookClub April 4, 2003
Corregidora is not only a novel about a women's sexuality but also about generations. Black women were taught to make generations but never quite forget where they came from. However, gruesome, that may be. The novel could have explored more intensely the past we have all left behind.